Hey look! Another movie based game from my childhood! What a fuckin’ surprise, right?!? The difference between this movie based game and other movie based games is that no child in the history of ever was begging their parents to see ‘The Lawnmower Man’. In fact, when I first saw this game on store shelves I didn’t even know that it was a movie. It wasn’t until I brought it home and played it that my dad mentioned that not only does a film version exist, but that we owned it. Yeah, it was sitting there on a shelf for years and I never knew. Well, let’s be fair. The truth is that I didn’t give a shit. Why would I? I was nine.
Needless to say, I watched the movie. And it sucked. I’d like to say that this was just a film that was underappreciated to a nine year old, but older me saw it and still thought it sucked. In fact, the reason that I never heard about it was because my parents thought it sucked too. According to IMDB, half of mankind thinks it sucks. It’s simply a shitty movie. And yet, for some reason that only the dark mind of Cthulhu can comprehend, someone, somewhere saw this shitfest of a movie and said “You know what? This would make a great game!”
It’s a stupid idea, but I guess he wasn’t wrong. “Great” may be a strong term, but I much preferred the game.
HERE’S WHAT I REMEMBER:
It’s odd to think that the first thing to come to mind when thinking about this game isn’t a scene, or a character sprite, or a piece of music, it’s a single color: gray. For some reason everytime I attempt to remember a single thing about the game, each mental picture is desaturated like I’m looking at a typical afternoon in London. I’m not sure why I remember it this way. It might be true (I’ll find that out soon), or maybe I was a video game playing dog that was magically transformed into the overweight slob banging on a keyboard as you see me today. Since I didn’t just drop a sheet of acid, I’m going to assume that there’s something to this dull color business.
Oh yeah, and I remember a bunch of rotating triangles. Not sure why. Again, not on acid.
Broad concepts aside, I remember two distinct segments to the game. In the first segment, you’re a man with a…gun? I think it’s a gun? Maybe? Anyway, you platform around, shooting bad guys, collecting things that may or may not be spinning triangles, and make it to the end of the level before your Pink Floyd record ends. Then you flip to side B since that’s the track that totally syncs up with the rest of the game.
The second segment was where you entered a virtual reality drunk driver simulator and attempt to avoid walls as a pair of disembodied arms. That’s about it. Each time you go into “VR”, you has to go slightly left, right, up, or down to go through doorways until you reached the end. Probably didn’t need a whole new paragraph to describe this, yet here we are.
Despite the underwhelming reviews I remember the game getting (and that a quick trip to Wikipedia reminded me of), I remember having fun with this game. I remember the controls being responsive, the platforming being fun, and the walls tasting like snozberries. Overall it might not have been a perfect game, but it was certainly a fun way to spend the afternoon with my multicolored half dog, half dragon best friend.
HOW DOES IT HOLD UP?
I must have been on downers rather than uppers when I first played this game because it’s not gray AT ALL (I mean, what drugs?). The game palette gets darker when you get to the warehouse level, but prior to that your character is dropped in a bright, vibrant suburban neighborhood. The same goes for when you’re tossed into “VR”. The initial level is dark because it’s an industrial area, but then blues and oranges take over for the next few segments. My assumption about the colors was as wrong as mistaking ‘Lord of the Flies’ as a comedy, which actually happened to me thanks to the faulty memory of a friend’s brother. Great film, but I take his opinions of movies with a grain of salt now.
Along the same lines, I’m not sure why I remember so many triangles flying around the screen. There were a few times triangles appeared, but they’re not as prominent as I remembered. Looking back, thinking that the Genesis could fill the screen with proto-polygons was simply ridiculous. That kind of technical prowess could only be achieved by the SNES and the images of triangles filling the screen must be a remnant left over from playing Star Fox at a friend’s house around the same time. So no, triangles don’t assault you during every second of game play…
Spheres are everywhere! Your gun shoots spheres, people explode into spheres, ever explosions are spheres! Spheres that make up a circle, also known as a 2D sphere! Nothing can have a point! Just like the movie! Maybe this game is actually a brilliant critique of the film! This changes EVERYTHING!
Or maybe I’m just took too much “Charlie Brown Christmas Special”, which may or may not be drugs.
Oh yeah, I should probably tell you what I thought of the game. It’s an alright action game that relies heavily on remembering where enemies are when you die in order to get further next time. The side scroller levels are too short and the VR segments are too long. Also, the VR segments are so floaty that I felt like a drunk Superman. That’s about it. Spheres and drunk Superman. That basically sums up the game.